It’s official. Lionsgate and ABC Studios today announced that Nashville will return with a brand new season on CMT. Long-time SVOD partner Hulu will continue to bring fans their favorite series 24/7 by making all Nashville episodes available to stream the day after they air on CMT.
The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios, and Opry Entertainment. Production will commence in Nashville with Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (the creators of Thirtysomething) at the helm.
“CMT and Hulu are the perfect combination for our iconic and beloved series ‘Nashville’ and we want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support—#Nashies, you helped make this possible,” said Kevin Beggs, Chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group. “We also want to extend our appreciation to the State of Tennessee, City of Nashville, and Ryman Hospitality for their unending support. They have been a key ingredient to the continued success of this show and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership for a fifth season.”
The studios would have you believe that the social media campaign they kicked off after ABC cancelled the show in May influenced CMT’s decision to pick up the show. But these decisions are always made after the accountants crunch the numbers. CMT and Hulu figure they can run seasons of the show for a long time. The receipts from music sales probably helped the renewal along, too. So far the Nashville has inspired 10 soundtracks, including a Christmas album, which have collectively sold more than one million album units and over 5 million single-track downloads to date.
The recently wrapped fourth season of Nashville attracted more than 8 million weekly viewers across all platforms and ranks as one of television’s most DVR’d series.
According to Entertainment Weekly, cast deals have not been struck. Also, the network has signed up for 22 episodes, rather than 10-15, which is typical for a cable network.
It’s still up in the air to what extent stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere will be participating in the CMT version of the series. Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs has said previously the stars are “essential” to the show’s continuation, but the cast deals have not yet been struck. We’re told Nashville actor Charles Esten and several other cast members will celebrate the news at a concert in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, along with CMT host Cody Alan.
More may be revealed in a press conference scheduled for today. Stay tuned Nashies!